It was a melodious atmosphere at the Priests Welfare Home, Saint Thomas Aquinas Church, GRA Awka, as the Priests were exposed to the mood of the season with carols and Christmas party.,The home was established by the Catholic Diocese of Awka in 2016 to house priests, who are on retirement age or have health impediments.,
The Christmas carols and party, organized for priests, ordained in nineteen sixty- five through nineteen seventy-five, ttrea thirty retired priests of the Awka and Ekwulobia Diocese, who are presently resting after their service with adequate care from Awka Diocese.,
In a homily during a Pontifical High Mass to commemorate the event, the Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor described the event as a welcome development geared towards recognizing the efforts and services of the priests, showing them love and sense of belonging.,Most Reverend Ezeokafor reminded the people of the need to care and support the priests, backed them up with prayers and always visit them to avoid negative emotion especially during retirement age.,
In his speech, the Secretary to the State Government, Professors Solo Chukwulobelu, who expressed gladness for having tutored and grown up with priests around him, said they have no other familie than the church and encouraged the laity to shower them with love and care during and after service to overcome depression.,Also speaking, the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Sir Willie Nwokoye while describing the programm as touchy, said the priests are almost forgotten and charged the laity to do their apostolate work with them to lessen the burden of the Diocese.
The Director of the home, Reverend Father Ifesinachi Udu said their vocation, which is a call for service, requires support from the laity, who will cheer them up in such situation those priests found themselves nothing that with such a gathering, the priests will know that their services were not in vain.,Also during the carols, Reverend Father Simon Azuka who compassed most of the Catholic songs recited some of them and thanked God for the call of the ministry.,
A spirited individual, who has been an assistant to the home, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo affirmed that blessings and open doors await those, who invest in the lives of others, more especially the aged.,Highlights were healthy education by the Director of CEPHA, Dr. Mrs. Flora Ilonzo, cutting of cake and renditions by the choir.